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TgD

What do you think of the "New Motorola"?

I for one am liking the direction they are heading in.

The first "promise" that has significant meaning to me is one of battery performance. The Droid RAZR MAXX arguably pioneered the high capacity smartphone segment, and it seems Motorola has deemed it worthy to continue this focus.

As a heavy BlackBerry user, battery life has always been a priority of mine, and while I have considered the large extended batteries for Android phones I have owned, it just didn't seem right. Vendors like Mugen Power make some great batteries and new back panels to accommodate them, but it just ruins the feel of the phone. I am actively looking for the perfect phone that fits my usage pattern, and this is coming close. I am not trapped in any ecosystem and can see myself going for Android, BB10, WP8, or even iOS6 depending on who has the best fit to my needs. The RAZR HD MAXX is a healthy step in the direction of what I want my next phone to be.

This logically makes me excited about the RAZR HD MAXX, yet also worried. I am worried this will be another device exclusive to Verizon (with no international version). The non-MAXX, RAZR HD LTE (international edition) just cleared the FCC with no sign of its higher capacity brother. I would like to see both devices offered internationally.

The second "promise" is that Motorola will bring their phones to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, or give users a $100 credit towards a new phone. Now, I am not sure how useful a $100 credit is, especially when most users would be locked into a contract. However, it is nice to see Motorola back their promise with cash. This forces them to a certain level of accountability. It also is better for consumers who may have felt neglected by software updates.

I think Motorola has a tough battle ahead if they want to start gaining ground on Samsung or Apple, but I think they are making some good decisions and I hope for them to have success with the launch of these phones.

(For people that missed the event in NYC today, a video replay of it can be found here www.engadget.com­/2012­/09­/05­/motorola­-main­-event­-av... )

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18 replies
Funderful

I'm not thrilled.

Google, through its hardware subsidiary, is announcing phones running a skinned version of Ice Cream Sandwich in September for shipping in Q4 with the promise that they'll be updated to a newer but still skinned version of Android just in time for it become outdated.

Were Google's hands tied by some contract with carriers to announce phones before they are ready? Is someone forcing one of the world's largest corporations to skin its phones? Are you kidding me with this?

First order of business on day one after the acquisition was finalised should have been to stop working on the please-don't-call-it-blur skin and to start moving all of Motorola's devices, current and upcoming, to a stock Android experience with fast and reliable updates.

I wasn't expecting that to happen, I very much feared something like what they announced yesterday, but I dared to hope for a split second. It was foolish of me given how Google outsourced support of the Galaxy Nexus to Samsung which appears to be getting Jelly Bean onto the GSIII before it makes it to the Nexus (curious how it's faster to port it to TouchWiz for the company's flagship than it is to simply approve and push out unmodified code to the phones sold on the promise of swift updates).

Google doesn't care. It is a defining feature of the company together with an impressive lack of focus. It's not just the phones, it's made obvious by what the company is doing by having both a Google TV product and a Nexus Q, both of which are incompatible lacklustre efforts.

It's a horrible cocktail of ADD and apathy.
4 like dislike
frankspin

When the acquisition process was going through it was stated that Motorola Mobility would operate as it's own entity, much like Android does, so I don't know why people keep thinking Google has such a big say in a lot of this.

Also these devices have probably been lined up for the better part of six months so if there is a push to get out properly branded Google products from Motorola you probably wont see them for another six months to a year.
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frankspin

I can't help but wonder if Motorola is even really trying. What I mean by this is look back over the past year at other big hardware reveals. HTC got on stage and showed of Image Sense and their commitment to design, Nokia just hours earlier shows of PureView as well as PureMotion and Samsung showcases their S-suite. What does Motorola do, they just show off a phone with a giant battery. I get that battery life is important and it allows the phone to always be in use but give me something more than just a new battery. I was very excited watching the build up to the announcement and before I knew the moment had passed. All the excitement I had was gone and I just felt like I was looking at just another Motorola phone.

The developer editions is a nice touch but realistically how much of a target segment does that hit, less than 1% of the total activation base they so very highly touted during this?

I'm trying to look at this as clear as possible but in the world of Android Motorola has to do more to put itself above the rest and I just don't think a battery really does that.
2 like dislike
TgD

That is a totally fair opinion. Pureview, and S-Suite were way more exciting announcements. However on a day to day basis, I don't see myself wanting S-Suite over a larger battery, although I can't say the same about Pureview ;) That is just awesome.

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frankspin

I agree a lot of the S-Suite is gimmicky and I'm not entirely sold on it either but the point still remains Samsung is trying to bring more to the table than what I feel Motorola is.
0 like dislike
cretinoussoul

As far as Pureview goes, I'd like to wait awhile and see what developments come afloat as there's controversy over it: www.firstpost.com­/tech­/nokia­-fakes­-pureview­-tech­-i...

I've been using the Droid Razr since it came out and apart from a betrayed feeling at hearing about the Droid Razr Maxx getting released just past my date to return my phone, it's been good to me. I'll admit I'd like to get rid of the bloatware that I never use (which is practically all of it), but it works with every app I put on it. I'm not as heavy of a phone user as most people. Checking Facebook, a few apps like OhMyGif, ...WithFriends games, and a bit of internet browsing take up my entire use for the phone (minus obvious texting and calling uses). I go through the day worried about how often I use my phone in case something happens on my way home where I'll need to call someone. I can't have a dead phone in an emergency situation. I also like to travel and there's nothing worse than using GPS for a couple hours in a place like New York City only to kill your phone. I'll profess that it has its issues, but no one can deny that every phone has its issues.

What interests me, honestly, is why they'd ever come out with a Droid Razr HD. With the Droid Razr Maxx HD, same insides with a significantly bigger battery, why on Earth would anyone, ever, want to buy the Droid Razr HD? You could look at it from a monetary perspective but chances are if you're buying a Droid Razr HD, you want a high end phone where you're not looking to skimp out. It can't be all that more expensive, too.
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TgD

I read a ton about the betrayal feeling, so I don't fault you. The international market never got the original MAXX though (and still won't get the new one I am guessing). There was a kit to convert the original to the MAXX, but of course it was third party and cost money.

I agree with you on your wondering why there is the Droid Razr HD. The difference in battery is less than 33%. I am wondering if it really will translate to a significant real world difference in battery life. If memory serves me right, the Droid Razr had a 1700mah battery where the Razr Maxx with 3300 was almost double. A much larger change.

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Funderful

The Razr Maxx is available in Sweden, and has been for some time I believe. www.prisjakt.nu­/produkt.php­?p­=1231819

It might not have been a global roll out but it was certainly international. Or am I mistaking some other phone for the Razr Maxx?
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TgD

I was mistaken it seems. The "international" razr maxx came out 4 months after the american release. (May vs January)

Definitely was not a global rollout, but a decent area of Europe did get it. If the same thing happens this time around, we should see the RAZR MAXX HD "international" in early 2013

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Gwiz

IMO the reason that Motorola is releasing three different, but similar, phones is to be able to offer three different price points. The “M” is an entry point phone and does not offer a full HD display; qHD. The HD is the mid-point phone. It offers a full HD display and enough battery power for the semi-heavy user. Wherever the Maxx offers the maximum power and features and geared for the road warrior type user.

In summary, it is all about reaching the greatest number of consumers while maximizing the returns on investment; hardware, marketing, etc. A hundred dollar difference in price for the next step up phone can be a deal killer for some people.

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TgD

Sadness.

As I had predicted (but faster than I predicted), Rogers announced the RAZR HD LTE, with no mention of the RAZR MAXX HD

redboard.rogers.com­/2012­/stay­-connected­-all­-night­-...
0 like dislike
bigb

like the new phones, sad they don't have removable battery for the times you need a spare.. just foreseeing a battery-case market similar to the iPhone
0 like dislike
icu

Non-removable battery still scares me - I always carry spares (3 tbh), but I guess I wouldn't "need one" ... hmm I guess I still wish the back would come off this thing and allow a battery swap.

For some reason I really like this phone in spite of their horrid wallpaper and launcher setup/aesthetic. This thing with a stock AOSP JB ROM would be pretty sweet imo. I just need to see some reviews - see how the camera does.
0 like dislike
groovechicken

As a happy Photon user, I have been waiting to see the "New Motorola." However, this doesn't strike me as a "New Motorola" so much as "Motorola has slightly shifted its priorities." Meaning, rather than strictly playing pawn to the carriers, they have accepted that Samsung's success is largely due to the fact that they focused more on what customers want than what carriers want. That's a good first step, but they have a ways to go yet before I would call them "new."

I signed up for their "More Info" email list, and it had my Photon in the drop-list of phones that you indicate you own on the form... so there is hope that this really is sincere. To be honest, though, I'm not in any hurry to trade in my Photon because I actually like it a lot. Given the choice between keeping it to use as a media player or taking the $100, I am more inclined to keep it and just pay the full price for my next phone. As a Sprint customer, I don't have a lot of choices for other Motorola phones anyway.

In terms of whether or not I really need a stock ROM... meh. I have never used a Verizon Motorola phone, and it seems all the hate for Motorola's skin comes from Verizon owners. I actually like the slight modifications to the stock 2.3 they added in the Photon. It feels very close to stock.

I guess to sum up, I think we need to see what they do with the other carriers before we can start applying labels like "the new Motorola."
0 like dislike
sean10350

Despite having an alliance with google, it is running a terrible skin that destroys the beautiful android experience. It is ugly and slow.

Yes, it improve battery life but what else does it innovate?

Yes, it also promise a jelly bean update but how long do customers have to wait? Shouldn't all phones come with the most recent update, considering Jelly Bean was released over three months ago. This shows a lack of service or care right from the start.
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TgD

To quote Frank
"When the acquisition process was going through it was stated that Motorola Mobility would operate as it's own entity, much like Android does, so I don't know why people keep thinking Google has such a big say in a lot of this."

Also, there have not been many (any?) phones from manufacturers other than Motorola that have SHIPPED with Jelly Bean yet. That is a broader problem with android rather than with Motorola in this case.

I have no experience in knowing how timely Motorola's upgrades are. Hopefully sooner than later for the sake of its customers. I know my Sony phones took FOREVER to get upgrades.
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dansch

"I have no experience in knowing how timely Motorola's upgrades are. Hopefully sooner than later for the sake of its customers."

Or how about never for these Motoliar clowns. They don't give a flip about their so-called customers.
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Gwiz

In my opinion, the release or delay of Jelly Bean onto the RAZRs is more depended on the carrier than the manufacturer timing. Motorola QA concerns would be, I imagine, toward the hardware and the apps that is has developed for the RAZRs. However, due to carrier installed software, extra time and testing is needed to ensure that the OS will work with all of the installed software. I have the MAXX HD and have gone two days before having to recharge. The Motorola Smart Actions work great and has allowed me to maximize my battery life. When I’m home, the phone switches from 4G to my Wi-Fi and back to 4G when I away from home. I have created Wi-Fi settings for other designated locations; not searching for or using 4G helps to extend the availability of the battery.

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